Fresh herbs tossed with great olive oil and a touch of lemon. Perfect simplicity.
I served mine with grilled scallops and fennel. A low oak chardonnay is a good wine pairing.
- ¼ cup shallots, minced
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt, plus more for pasta water and seasoning
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 6 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 cup packed mixed fresh herbs, such as italian parsley, tarragon, thyme, sage, very finely chopped
- ¼ cup snipped fresh fennel fronds, very finely chopped
- 1 pound fusilli or other pasta
- lemon wedges
- 2 tablespoon almonds, roughly chopped
Fill a large pot with water and bring it to a boil over high heat. Add plenty of salt and then the pasta. Cook until the pasta is al dente according to package directions, about 7 minutes.
Meanwhile, place the shallots onto your cutting board, along with 1‑teaspoon salt. Using a mortar and pestle or the side of a chef’s knife, crush the mixture into a paste. The grit of coarse salt will assist in the process. Alternatively you may use a blender or mini-food processor. Though I like the more varied and rustic texture that comes from doing it by hand.
Transfer the shallots to a medium sized serving bowl. And add oil and lemon juice, whisking to combine. Next add the finely chopped herbs and fennel fronds and mix well. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
When the pasta is cooked move it to the serving bowl with tongs. It is good that a little of the water comes with the pasta. You may need to add additional pasta water, but do not let it get soupy. Just enough liquid to help coat the pasta with the herb mixture. Garnish with lemon wedges and chopped alomonds. Serve warm.